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Young Entrepreneur Series – Prevent the Bite

December 29, 2011

Kelly Voigt was 14 years old when Prevent the Bite was founded. In 1999, seven-year-old Kelly Voigt of Palatine, Illinois was seriously injured when a neighbor’s dog attacked her as she walked near her home. She received approximately 100 stitches in her face and neck and later required treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

What happened to Kelly is not uncommon, as almost half of all children in the United States will be bitten by a dog by the age of 12. There are more hospital emergency room visits every year due to dog bites than from skateboard, in-line skating, baby walker, all-terrain vehicle, and horse-back riding accidents combined. Incredibly, nothing has been done in most communities to address this problem, although several major studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control have concluded that an educational program for children would be a critical factor in reducing the number of dog bites in our country.

Kelly founded Prevent The Bite in order to teach children how to be safe around dogs. Together, she and her mother developed educational materials and have made them available to schools across the country. Kelly has personally presented these safety strategies to thousands of children in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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